News | Cinema & Theater
Iran Cinema Shining From East to West

Date: 10 June 20017

Iranian cinema has proved its mettle in the world by producing powerful dramas, praised globally and won major awards at top festivals.

Now, the 3rd FilMadrid International Cinema Festival in Spain, June 8-17, has devoted a special section to an aspect of Iran cinema, which despite being very popular inside the country, has remained mostly unknown to the rest of the world. The Spanish festival has concentrated on Iranian comedies and absurdist movies, ISNA reported.

The section attempts to focus on movies normally overlooked by westerners, who know Iran cinema with more contemplative films of Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi and Asghar Farhadi.

Films presented by FilMadrid at this year’s edition provide the foreign audience with the current trends in Persian cinema. Humor is employed as a means to express social criticism by filmmakers like that of many other world directors.

The retrospective series includes 8 movies from Dariush Mehrjui, ‘The Tenants’ (1986) and ‘Mum’s Guest’ (2004); Mani Haqiqi, ‘A Dragon Arrives’ (2016), ‘Modest Reception’ (2012), ‘Men at Work’ (2006) and ‘Abadan’ (2003); Shahram Mokri, ‘Fish & Cat’ (2013) and Ali Ahmadzadeh, ‘Atomic Heart’ (2014).

  Issue of Abortion

‘Being Born’ directed by Mohsen Abdolvahab is competing with 9 other films at the official section of the Granada International Film Festival ‘Cines del Sur’ in Spain, June 3-10.

The film deals with the universal issue of abortion. What is riveting about it is the director’s ability to tell a story fraught with angst and emotion with the least of melodrama.

The cast includes Hedayat Hashemi, Elham Korda, Esmaeil Pourreza, Reza Mortazavi, Roya Javidnia, Niki Nassirian and Aida Sarshar among others.

The realism and the humanity shown by the characters of the film has earned it the Jury Prize at the Vesoul International Film Festival.

  Tributes to Kiarostami

Four films from Iran are also present at the 16th Transilvania International Film Festival in Romania, 2-11 June 2017.

In competition, ‘Simulation’ (2017) directed by Abed Abest is vying for the top prize along with 11 more movies.

The film, screened at the forum section of Berlinale in February, tells the story of three young men who decide to pay a visit to an older man they only know vaguely, but things do not go on as smoothly as they had thought. The director has also acted in his work beside Vahid Rad and Majid Yousefi.

‘Immortality’ by Mehdi Fard-Qaderi is screened out of competition. The event also pays tribute to the late auteur Kiarostami, who passed away last July, by showing his last short film ‘Take Me Home’ (2016) and the documentary ‘76 Minutes and 15 Seconds With Abbas Kiarostami’ made by his close friend and collaborator Seifollah Samadian.

The documentary is a portrait of an artist, whose exceptional approach to art and life defines him as one of the most ardent admirers of life itself. The film shares undiscovered moments of Kiarostami’s life and work through the shots selected out of hundreds of hours of footage filmed during 25 years of friendship between the director and Kiarostami.

  Large Film Festival

A total of 6 Persian movies (feature, short and animation) are participating in the 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival in the US, 18 May – 11 June 2017.

The largest film festival in the US and one of the biggest in the world, the event shows 400 films in a period of over 25 days.

Iranian feature films include Mani Haqiqi’s ‘A Dragon Arrives’ (2016), Behnam Behzadi’s ‘Inversion’ (2016), Mitra Tabrizian’s ‘Gholam’ (2017, made in England) and Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Taste of Cherry’ (1997, winner of the Palm d’Or).

‘Lonely Cat Meowing’ by Nina Zarabi (2016) is the short film and the Iranian animation is ‘The Servant’ by Farnoosh Abedi (2017).

  ‘Yellow’ Goes to East Asia

The feature-length drama ‘Yellow’ directed by Mostafa Taghizadeh will compete in the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival in China, one of the largest film festivals in East Asia, 17-26 June 2017.

The 93-minute film features Bahram Radan, Sareh Bayat, Mehrdad Sedighian, Bahareh Kianafshar, Shahram Haghighatdoust, Amir-Ali Nabavian and Ali Salehi among others.

This is Taqizadeh’s first feature after making several short films. It was premiered at the 35th Fajr Film Festival in February and is slated for local screening in summer. The story centers on a group of young people living in modern Tehran.

Source: Financial Tribune